Artillery: Pakistan Perfects Cheap, Stealthy Cruise Missile


March 25, 2006: Pakistan has conducted a second successful test of its Barbur cruise missile. The 1.5 ton, 22 foot long missile has a range of 500 kilometers. It appears to carry a 500 pound warhead, and the Pakistanis are working on a nuclear weapon that would fit in Barbur. The missile uses GPS guidance, and the Pakistanis say it has stealth features. Cruise missiles are decidedly low tech compared to ballistic missiles. GPS makes it easy to equip the missile with a highly accurate, and inexpensive, guidance system. Since the missiles fly low, they are hard to spot with radar. Stealthiness (making the missile more difficult for radar to pick up) can be added by using the right materials, and shape, for the missile. But compared to ballistic missiles, cruise missiles are much each to spot and shoot down. But cruise missiles are also a lot cheaper than ballistic missiles, costing about one fifth as much as a ballistic missile with the same range and payload.


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